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Spending by foreign visitors to Hungary rises 21%

Spending by foreign visitors in Hungary rose 21% to HUF 544 billion in H1 2009, while spending by Hungarians abroad increased 25% to HUF 379 billion, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Tuesday.

Hungary's tourism surplus rose HUF 16 billion to HUF 166 billion.

The number of foreign visitors in Hungary climbed 5.5% to 17.9 million. The number of Hungarians travelling abroad reached 7.8 million.

The forint was weakened 16% against the euro in H1 from the same period a year earlier. Slovakians, who adopted the euro at the start of the year and used their bigger purchasing power in Hungary, helped raise the number of day-trippers by 7% to account for 40% of all foreign visitors. The number of one-day shopping trips rose by some 50% and accounted for 37% of all day-trippers. While day-trippers arrived from neighboring countries and Germany to shop, those from other countries came as transit tourists.

Foreign tourists, apart from day-trippers, spent an average 7.1 days in Hungary. They spent an average HUF 13,800 (EUR 47.6) per day, of which 45% went to the cost of accommodation.

About 3% fewer Hungarians went for one-day excursions abroad, while the number of travellers staying in other countries for longer periods rose by 4%. The average stay of these tourists was a day longer at twelve days. About 80% of Hungarian travelers abroad went for tourism purposes.

They spent 14% more than a year earlier. Business travellers accounted for 18% of those making longer journeys and 17% of day-trippers. Their spending rose by 74%.

Hungarian day-trippers pent an average HUF 8,600 per day, HUF 700 more than a year earlier, while Hungarians spending longer periods of time abroad rose HUF 1,100 to HUF 10,000. (MTI-ECONEWS)